Their remuneration for medals is below their abled-bodied counterparts

The case of Arjuna Awardee Ram Karan Singh, a differently-abled person, who was allegedly attacked by policemen during a protest in Delhi, has once again highlighted the bias of Delhi Government against differently-abled sportspersons.

Mr. Singh, who has won gold medals at many National-level tournaments before being honoured with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2012, told The Hindu that the remuneration he received from the Delhi Government every time he won a gold medal was Rs.7,000 whereas able-bodied people received Rs.50,000 in case of a similar win. And he is not the only one who faced this bias as a differently-abled sportsperson.

Satbir Rana general-secretary of the Delhi Paralympics Committee said: “It is the prerogative of the Delhi Government to decide the remuneration for sportsmen who win medals at the National games.”

Mr. Rana claimed that the Delhi Government’s sports policy was itself biased against differently-abled people. “For winning a gold medal at a national-level game, an able-bodied player gets Rs.50,000 whereas a differently-abled player gets Rs.7,000; for a silver medal the remuneration is Rs.30,000 and Rs.5,000, respectively while for a bronze medal it is Rs.20,000 and Rs.3,000, respectively,” he pointed out.

“A differently-abled sportsman needs more effort to play a sport compared to his able-bodied counterparts. They also need people to help them with minor things. Therefore, they deserve to be paid at par if not more,” said Mr. Rana.

The Delhi Paralympics Committee had also filed a case against the Delhi Government challenging their sports policy for the differently-abled.

The case was filed in Delhi High Court in December 2011 and the decision on the case is still pending.

“If we win the case, the Delhi Government will have to change their sports policy. They will have to pay the same amount to both able-bodied sportsmen and differently-abled sportsmen,” said Mr. Rana.

Giving the same remuneration to both categories is possible. Haryana Government does it. They pay Rs.1 lakh to both able-bodied players and differently-abled on winning a gold medal at a national-level tournament, he added.

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